Sidney Crosby C PIT 5 Days

Crosby collected an assist and compiled a plus-2 rating Monday night against Florida.

He has yet to play against Tampa Bay -- Pittsburgh's opponent Tuesday -- in 2014-15, but recorded four goals and 10 points in three games against the Lightning last season. Crosby fantasy owners could use a big game from the center, who trails the Flyers' Jakub Voracek in the Art Ross Trophy race, 44 points to 37.

Sidney Crosby C PIT 7 Days

Crosby netted his first post-mumps goal and third in 21 games Saturday against Florida.

He could've had more if not for Roberto Luongo (and an empty-net near miss). Crosby's goal was his first since Nov. 24 and his team-high seven shots represent a season high for the centerman. The Panthers' Dave Bolland slashed Crosby's wrist/hand area, but Crosby said after the game that he was fine. Still, it wouldn't be surprising if the team takes X-rays -- just to make sure.

Sidney Crosby C PIT 9 Days

Crosby returned Thursday following a three-game absence, finishing pointless with three shots on goal in 20:19 TOI.

Pens coach Mike Johnston said after the game that Crosby probably played a couple minutes too many, given his recent quarantined inactivity. The center went 13-9 in the faceoff circle and nearly converted a breakaway courtesy of an Evgeni Malkin flip-pass, but was stopped by goalie Calvin Pickard's glove save. Crosby now has just two goals (and 19 assists) in his last 20 contests.

Sidney Crosby C PIT 9 Days

Crosby (illness) is on the ice for pregame warmups and appears to be back in the lineup Thursday against the Avalanche.

It was expected that Crosby would sit out another game after he just returned to the ice Wednesday following his battle with the mumps, but after coming out of Thursday's morning skate looking healthy and ready to go, it sounds like Mike Johnston signed off on his return to the lineup. Though he skated on a line with Evgeni Malkin during the morning session, he'll be slotted next to Nick Spaling and Patrick Hornqvist for Thursday's game.

Sidney Crosby C PIT 9 Days

Crosby (illness) will be a game-time decision for Thursday's game against the Avalanche.

Crosby was able to participate in Thursday's morning skate, but the Penguins won't make a final call on his status for Thursday's contest until just before game time. Be sure to check for another update on Crosby's status before the first puck drops.

Sidney Crosby C PIT 9 Days

Crosby (illness) took the ice for Thursday's morning skate, Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

The Penguins have not said whether or not Crosby will return to action Thursday after missing the last three games, but his presence at the team's morning skate gives him a chance to suit up Thursday night. The Penguins figure to provide an update on his status prior to game time.

Sidney Crosby C PIT 10 Days

Crosby (illness) skated on his own prior to Wednesday's practice.

Crosby is past the infectious stage in his recovery from the mumps and is now starting the process of regaining conditioning after battling the nasty virus. He hasn't been ruled out as an option for Thursday's game against the Avalanche, but a return to the lineup Saturday against the Panthers looks to be more realistic at this point.

Sidney Crosby C PIT 12 Days

Since Crosby is past the infectious stage of his case of the mumps and will return to the team either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Although it appeared Wednesday is the day Crosby figured to be cleared of the infectious phase (according to CDC guidelines), fantasy owners will benefit from the bumped-up schedule. As a result, it looks more and more likely that Crosby might return Thursday rather than Saturday.

Sidney Crosby C PIT 12 Days

Crosby (illness) is past the infectious stage of the mumps.

Crosby is expected to return to the team Tuesday or Wednesday, but it appears he may have given the mumps to teammate Beau Bennett (knee) who was quarantined Monday after showing symptoms.

Sidney Crosby C PIT 13 Days

Crosby (mumps) has been ruled out for Monday's home game against the Lightning.

Medical guidelines from the CDC suggest that Crosby should remain in isolation for five days. Presuming that period began Friday evening (he took part in the team's morning skate), then it's possible he could resume activity Wednesday evening. The Pens also play Thursday and Saturday in Week 11, so it stands to reason that Crosby's first game back might not be until Saturday against Florida.